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Shaw Has a New Pop-Up Bar for Rum Drinks With an Italian Bent

Rumbo Italiano starts a one-month run at Broccoli Bar tonight

A cocktail at Rumbo Italiano
Slush Crush is described as a hopped Orange Crush at Rumbo Italiano, for $12.
Rachel Larsen/Rumbo Italiano
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

For his first big order of business as the newly named beverage director at &pizza, veteran D.C. bartender Lukas B. Smith just rebranded the chain’s year-old Broccoli Bar in Shaw.

Rumbo Italiano (1817 Seventh Street NW) opens today at 4 p.m. with a tropical new look and a reinvented menu. The bar will sell some of the same best-selling slushies and cocktails as Cotton & Reed — the rum distillery that Smith oversees in the Union Market district. The name is a playful riff on Dean Martin’s hit Mambo Italiano.

“The idea is to make the interior more like a bar space and less of a quick-service restaurant,” Smith told Eater this month.
Rachel Larsen/Rumbo Italiano
Blooming decor is weaved around the bar.
Rachel Larsen/Rumbo Italiano

Familiar draft cocktails ($10) include the Redbeard (Cotton & Reed White rum, Campari, RB Ginger Beer, lemon) and Rumba Palumba (Cotton & Reed White, Ilegal Mezcal, grapefruit soda, and lime). New drinks include a gin and tonic laced with spiced rum and a salted cucumber vodka soda.

A low-ABV ginger spritz called Italico-Iberico comes with Aperol, Fino, and Lukas Smith’s RB Ginger Beer.
A low-ABV ginger spritz called Italico-Iberico comes with Aperol, Fino, and Lukas Smith’s RB Ginger Beer.
Rachel Larsen/Rumbo Italiano

At Rumbo, Smith is introducing the line of Redbeard sodas and syrups, named after his own facial hair, that he’s been creating for years in D.C. His RB Ginger Beer makes its way into a low-ABV Italico-Iberico, with Aperol and Fino. Stronger drinks include a rum-rye Old Fashioned with coconut bitters, and a tequila Negroni flavored with cachaca and juniper.

The lone beer on the list is Italian, naturally. A 10-ounce pour of Peroni comes in a frozen mug. There’s also $8 wines by the glass and bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow ($60).

Cotton & Reed plans to sell its cocktails at the bar for at least a month — and maybe permanently. The food side will continue to follow &pizza’s lead.

For opening night tonight, the bar will host an instrumental surf rock band from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fresco Refresco is a “fizzy” filled with Astral Tequila, Dry Spiced Rum, Q Grapefruit Soda, and lime.
Rachel Larsen/Rumbo Italiano

Broccoli Bar

1817 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001